Portage Lakes Career Center


CAREER TECH WORKS! - Meet Davide Romano

A native of Italy, Davide Romano, 41, is no stranger to starting over. His decision to enroll in
PLCC’s adult education heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) program gave him
more than a fresh start. The experience resulted in a career–not a job–that pays well and is
personally fulfilling.

In his hometown north of Venice, Italy, Davide was a building surveyor but when the economy
collapsed, he worked on an organic farm and then at a fruit and vegetable shop. In 2015, he
and his wife, Ariel, an Ohio native, moved from Italy to Cuyahoga Falls, where he found
part-time work at Marc’s, in the produce department. From there, he worked a temporary job for several years before he was laid off during the pandemic.

“So here I was again, starting from the beginning,” Davide said. A friend told him about the need for HVAC technicians. “My English wasn’t so good so I didn’t know what he was talking about and had to look up the acronym.”

Though he lived minutes from a career tech school, he was discouraged by the school’s high
cost of tuition and fees. A google search led him to PLCC. “The admissions staff was very
encouraging and helpful,” he said. “I also appreciated the reasonable tuition with no additional
fees so I knew the cost upfront.”

Davide started the HVAC program in August 2020. While his wife worked her teaching job
during the day, he cared for their daughter, Francesca, now 4. In the evenings, he attended
class from 5-9 p.m., four days a week.

“I started out not knowing if I would even want a career in HVAC,” Davide said. “I was also
uncertain because, in the past, I didn’t like to study and was never a good student. I always
preferred to learn by doing.”

Under the guidance of PLCC HVAC instructor Ben Chouinard, he quickly felt at home. “For me,
it wasn’t like school, it was going somewhere to have fun and learn. I’d never had that
experience. Everyone was willing to help me and it felt like family. I studied, asked questions,
and put a lot of effort into it. It was the best experience.”

He became fascinated with heating. “The system works like the human body: the thermostat is
the brain and the body is the furnace, and everything must be synchronized to keep the flame

Davide finished first in his class in the HVAC program and was awarded a scholarship. For a
year after his June 2021 graduation, he worked for his instructor’s company before being hired
at Bonsky Heating and Cooling in Uniontown.


Now a lead installer, he said that he likes “everything” about his career and employer. “I’m
treated like family here and I love what I do. At PLCC, I learned the basics of HVAC but it didn’t
stop there. I’m curious and I have a desire to always learn more and do better every day.”

Schedule a Tour

We take pride in our facility and welcome the opportunity to show it off!  You would never buy a car without looking at it first.  Choosing the place to give you a head start on a successful path in life should be no different.  We invite you to schedule a tour of our beautiful campus.  We’re pretty sure you’ll be impressed!

If you are a high school student, please note that you will have several opportunities to visit PLCC during your sophomore year.

Once we receive your request, a PLCC staff member will follow up directly. Thank you for your interest, we look forward to seeing you soon.

Portage Lakes Career Center is accessible to visitors with physical disabilities. Visitors should contact the Main Office at 330-896-8200 prior to arrival for parking instructions and other information.